The Lost Art of Connecting Summary

1-Sentence-Summary: The Lost Art of Connecting explores ways to build meaningful and genuine relationships in life by using the Gather, Ask, Do method and relying less on gaining benefits from networking, but rather on deepening your connection with other human beings and cultivating authentic emotions.

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The Lost Art of Connecting Summary

The majority of people want to form meaningful connections, find true friends, and enjoy a socially rich life. Unfortunately, many of us lack the necessary skills to develop such relationships and end up turning into lone wolfs or going back to the same old acquaintances for socializing. 

Usually, people opt for their social safety net out of fear of the unknown and because they don’t know how to look for new relationships, or maintain them. The Lost Art of Connecting  by Susan McPherson will teach you how to do all of those things through the Gather, Ask, Do method, and also improve your life overall by defining your goals.

Below are my three favorite lessons from this book:

  1. Helping others in their journey is what will help you create genuine relationships.
  2. Gather information in your circle of acquaintances, and use the ask method to amplify relationships.
  3. Using the RASA method can help you become a better listener.

As we’ll take each lesson one by one, everything will make more sense, so let’s start with the first one right away!

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Lesson 1: To develop meaningful connections, you’ll have to offer your attention and help to those around you

Oftentimes, people engage in conversations and try to network for purely transactional purposes. They think that they’ll eventually gain something from establishing a relationship with a certain individual, which is also a reason why they choose not to communicate with people that don’t possess anything of interest to them. 

In a world where everyone strives to climb the social scale, relationships have become a tool, rather than an existential part of life. To break this vicious cycle, we’ll have to switch our focus to the most important part of a relationship: giving. When you try to offer people your help, they’ll be much kinder to you.

Everyone can feel when a relationship is superficial, which is often the result of a LinkedIn or Facebook befriending, or genuine, which mostly occur face to face. To break past the first layer, try to brainstorm a few ideas of how you can help the person next to you. Offer them something for free, be kind and generous, or simply ask them how you can be of use, without wanting something in return.

This way, your relationships will flourish, and you’ll get even more than if you were to engage in a transactional friendship. People remember those who are being nice to them and wish to repay the favor when the situation asks for it. Plus, your bonds will feel more authentic, and your social life will thrive!

Lesson 2: Try asking for help in your group of friends and creating bonds with them

A relationship always consists of at least two people who have to engage with each other and establish a bond. To strengthen that bond, you’ll need a starting point. Many people underestimate their network, thinking that socializing with new people starts from outside. 

However, considering how many friends each individual from your network has on their own, it could be a good starting point to try and expand from within your regular circle. This is where you Gather. Find people to connect to and genuinely look to form meaningful connections

At this stage, you might be surprised at how many connections you have! Once you’re in the process of forming meaningful connections, don’t be afraid to ask for help from your peers. Doing so will let them know that you trust them and that you don’t have a problem reaching out in times of need, which is what they’ll also do if the situation asks for it. 

When asking for help, you’ll want to be specific. Always bond your request to a time frame and add details. Make your pitch as specific as possible, and aim to keep it under five minutes. This way, you won’t be a burden to your friend, and your connection will strengthen.

Lesson 3: Aim to form meaningful connections by asking genuine questions about the other

You’re probably not going to become best friends with all the people you have a relationship with, but creating meaningful connections should be a top priority. To enrich your social life and form authentic bonds, you’ll have to become a good listener.

If people find it difficult to open up to you although you are treating them with care, learn to ask the right questions. Without being intrusive, find your way towards their true interests, concerns, and common struggles. Let them know that you’re a reliable person that they can trust

It may be helpful to ask them questions like: “What do you usually do for fun”, “How did you go through the pandemic?”, and then move on to the most important part: Do. Using the RASA method, you can become a better listener. RASA stands for:

  • Receive
  • Appreciate
  • Summarize
  • Ask

Receiving implies being open (both mentally and through your body language) to your interlocutor. Then, nod and agree with what they’re saying so that they feel heard. Strengthen your connection by summarizing what they said in short points. This will make them feel valued and heard. Lastly, ask for details, or try to clarify parts of their story with phrases like: “Really?”, “How did that happen?”, etc.

The Lost Art of Connecting Review

The Lost Art of Connecting delves into the philosophy of meaningful connections and encourages its readers to aim for long-lasting, genuine bonds. Instead of looking at relationships from a transactional point of view, the book emphasizes the importance of helping others without having your best interest at heart, seeking help when you need it, and listening to your peers. Reading this book will teach you the Gather, Ask, Do method, which starts with looking for new friends, asking them questions, and listening to them, among other aspects.

Who would I recommend The Lost Art of Connecting summary to?

The 30-year-old who feels that they’ve been revolving around the same circle for years and want to expand their network, the 40-year-old who achieved financial success but feels like they need to work on developing more meaningful relationships, or the 27-year-old hustler who wants to build networks and long-lasting friendships in life.

Last Updated on October 6, 2022

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Maria Deac

While working with my friend Ovi's company SocialBee, I had the good fortune of Maria writing over 200 summaries for us over the course of 18 months. Maria is a professional SEO copywriter, content writer, and social media marketing specialist. When she's not writing or learning more about marketing, she loves to dance and travel all over the world.